Wednesday, December 03, 2008


One of the things I craved when I was young was to see images of gay people in the media that I could relate to. Yes it was a different world back then. (Little Gypsy Gay was about as gay it got, and that's in name only.) Except for the homos of the raunchy evening soap Number 96 that is, but I couldn't particularly relate to them either. When I was a young teen I can't think of many other gay images, positive or negative.

Anyhoo. It certainly is a different world, and in some corners of this world it's even more different. The Dutch have a reputation for being progressive, and the pro-diversity teen drama Spangas (official website - in Dutch) certainly enhances that rep in relation to gay youngsters.

Flip and Tobias are identical twin high school students. Flip is gay, and Tobias is straight. Flip has a crush on Tobias's best friend Koen, which turns out to be reciprocated. Flip and Koen start dating, and although Koen at first wants to keep it secret it isn't long before they out themselves to all as a couple. The only negativity seems to come from Tobias, not because he really has a problem with gay people but because he's jealous.

This first clip is really just setting the scene, introducing the fact that Koen is receptive to Flip's crush.

The show is on 5 times a week and youtube user (and blogger) gaydaytime has been posting clips with subtitles daily. What is interesting is that the show is produced by a Christian station, and I gather a rather progressive one at that.

To quote The Gays Of Daytime blog:
Meet the students and teachers of Spangalis, the Zubaran of the Lowlands. This show is on 5 times a week on NEDERLAND 3. I won't go into the complicated ways Dutch public television is organized - suffice it to say, there are several broadcast groups that get allotted time on three networks and each group represents a segment of society. There's a traditional 'workers' broadcaster, one for Catholics and SPANGAS is broacasted by NCRV which stands for 'Dutch Christian Radio Organization', which is also the oldest public broadcaster in the Netherlands.

But still, NCRV is diverse and allows a gay storyline in this show. Meet Flip and Koen. Thing will get complicated, I'm sure, because Flip also has a twin brother called Tobias. Let's see where this will take us...

Pretty cool huh? The young actors, especially the boys playing Flip and Koen, do a nice job. It's most definitely a teen drama with all the small crises that entails. Plus, at times I find the sound of Dutch oddly amusing, with all the aaaaaaargh and glottal sounds it makes me think of a bunch of pirates clearing their throats.

[More clips and info at the Gays Of Daytime blog, and all his Spangas posts are here.]


Anonymous said...

Great clips...thanks for the heads-up.

I agree that the guttural sounds are attention grabbing. Strangely it all changed when I discovered how to turn the subtitles on in youtube. I became engrossed in the teenage angst :D

Didn't even know that youtube had a subtitle ability.
A happy day when I find something new...

Graeme said...

Dissing Don & Duddles. Hmmm. I thought they were fantastic role models for their time. I think you were just too "Touch of Elegance" to relate to them. Not Happy Jan!

pierrot said...

Thanks for your informations

When I was a twin, I would like to see also films about gay and Teenagers (positive thinks)

impossible. In my country, the only stuff was a silly soap with all the caricatures point of view : les filles d'à coté (girls next door 1995
Urgh !
I don't know why, in my country, channels are very scared in producing soap and stuff dealings with young's problems : sexuality, drogues, suicide,homosexuality, violence in family...)
It s only possible to see foreign production (only if it is a film without any money risk ). moreover
on cable (NRJ 12 : Física o Química or after 22h00 on crypted channel (Canal + : Skins )

their are some stuff but, usually speaking, the actors are older :
A very popular Soap « plus belle la vie » (Comment "Plus belle la vie" a banalisé l'homosexualité
Some over short soaps : “Clara Sheller”, « les Bleus premiers pas dans la police... »

People are nearly ready, but less the national broadcast society which are always scared of loosing viewers.
An example : Juste une Question D'amour / Just a Question of Love (2000) ( was a bomb because this film was not made fore cinema but for TV and was broadcast a Wednesday on prime time ! Only because the “producteur” lied about the subject !
In 2000, he had to lie to the channel and the TV magazines !
Amassing, no ?